‘Obaseki’s agric programmes'll increase food production, address rising food prices, grow economy’
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‘Obaseki’s agric programmes'll increase food production, address rising food prices, grow economy’

The Edo State Government has restated that the programmes and interventions of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration in the agricultural sector will reset the state’s economy, increase food production and address rising food prices.

Functioning Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Peter Uidia Aikhuomobhogbe, who spoke to journalists in Benin City, at an event to mark this year’s International Food Day, urged residents to support the government’s efforts at ending poverty and making Edo free of hunger.

Aikhuomobhogbe listed some of the government’s agriculture intervention programmes to include Edo State Oil Palm Programme(ESOPP), Edo State Agripreneur Programme, Independent Farmers Initiative (IFT) programme, Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) and several donor-assisted programmes like Edo CARES Project, Livestock Productivity and Resilience Support Project (L-PRES) and IFAD Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise Programme (LIFE), among others.

According to him, “the Edo State Government has zero tolerance for hunger and is irrevocably committed to improving the livelihood of its people through the fight against hunger, poverty and malnutrition amongst its citizenry.

“In this regard it has continued to create a peaceful, stable and enabling environment in which people can till the land and feed themselves in dignity. Government has also put in place programmes in agriculture, agroforestry, fisheries, livestock husbandry and other related small-scale industries and services that would facilitate food production.”

Speaking on some of the government’s intervention programmes, he further noted, “the government is committed to the revitalization of the oil palm sector for global competitiveness, diversification of the state economy, job and wealth creation. To this end, over 45,000 hectares have been allocated to six (6) oil palm investors under the ESOPP initiative.”

“The Edo State Government in its bid to generate employment for the teeming youth population and create wealth through agricultural activities put in place an agricultural entrepreneurship development initiative called the Edo State Agripreneur Programme. The main objective of the programme is to promote sustainable livelihoods in agriculture that will create at least 30,000 jobs in crops, livestock and catfish value chains.

“This year, a total of 444 hectares have been cultivated for rice grain production at Agenebode, Warraproductionke and Agbede. The catfish production component of the programme is ongoing with the training and empowerment of 329 farmers producing over 400,000 catfish. This involves the provision of production infrastructure and assets, including inputs,” he added.

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